Sophia Brady / Gavel Media

Cheap & Free Activities in Boston for Students on a Budget

As we all know, the city of Boston is filled with activities for every type of person. There is no shortage of famous historical landmarks or new pop-up art galleries. However, if you are a college student, you are probably working on a budget. Not everyone wants to pay $40 to get into a museum just to walk around for 20 minutes. That being said, Boston possesses many free (or relatively cheap) activities! Here is a list of fun things to do throughout the city for every occasion:

Castle Island

Located on the southern side of Boston, Castle Island is the perfect place to get away from campus for a breath of fresh air. For warmer days, Castle Island has a beach to lay out on and features Sullivan’s, a restaurant known for its ice cream, fried clam strips, and lobster rolls. As it gets cooler, you might not want to go swimming, so instead, you can take a stroll on Castle Island's Harborwalk, which circles nearly half of the island with gorgeous views of the water. For the history buffs, Fort Independence, built in 1634, is just waiting to be explored. 

Boston Common Frog Pond

While the Frog Pond is fun to sit around and look at in the warmer months, starting mid-November, it will be converted to an ice skating rink! Rated the best outdoor ice skating rink in the country by USA Today, the Frog Pond is the perfect place to hang out with friends and embrace Boston’s icy winter. Located in the middle of Boston Common, it is very easy to get to. Admission is free if you are under 58 inches, and $6 for everyone else. Rentals are $12. Although admission is not free, college students receive half-price admission on Tuesday nights, and the Frog Pond will soon release a schedule for when surrounding colleges receive free admission, so keep an eye out!

Boston Public Library

Although I’m sure everyone has seen images of the notorious library, experiencing it in person is a whole other entity. As the third-largest library in the country, beat only by the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library, BPL contains over 24 million items for you to explore. If books and architecture aren’t your thing, you can still stop by the library and snag free tickets to other museums in Boston such as the New England Aquarium, the Museum of Science, and the Boston Harbor Islands. 

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

An art museum with a crazy history, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum offers free admission with your student ID. Today, visitors can enjoy both the museum’s wide collection of paintings and sculptures, and walk through the gardens surrounding the museum. Don’t forget to visit the room where the largest property theft in the world took place. Over 20 years ago, 13 paintings with an estimated worth of approximately $500 million were stolen. The work remains missing, so if you fancy yourself a detective, this might be the job for you. 

Arnold Arboretum 

If you somehow get tired of the views at Boston Common, try visiting The Arnold Arboretum. The Arboretum has free admission and boasts over 16,000 plants spread out among 281 acres. There are numerous tours that are self-guided depending on your mood and how much time you have, ranging from the Introductory Tour, which is 40 minutes and 0.5 miles, to the Director’s Tour, a longer 240 minutes and 2.5 miles. 

Lover of candy corn, New Girl, and asking people if they’re mad at me. Hater of seafood and The Beatles (sorry).

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